House leadership on the Republican side of the aisle doesn’t want to throw away any money into lost causes in 2010 – so it is advising potential challengers to current Democratic incumbents to start their funding efforts now, or face the prospect of going it alone in the final weeks of the election. The policy comes with its own rewards and risks – candidates who can fend for themselves will be more likely to prevail in November; the downside is that some potential candidates may opt out of running. The bottom line, however, according to a Politico article, is that the Republicans felt too many of their 2008 candidates waited too late to engage in fund-raising, and a lot of late cash allocations went to losing causes, something they hope to avoid next time.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress don’t seem too concerned about what Republicans are doing – but they are wondering if they’re going to be in competition with the potent money-generating machine of President Barack Obama. With the economy in the state it’s in, it’s feared that donors both big and small will either cut back or stay on the sidelines entirely, with the Obama machine sucking up much of the slack before congressional campaigns can get a cut.
RBR/TVBR observation: All we know is that there are a lot of people in Washington right now doing their level best to make sure that political remains a growth advertising category regardless of the state of the economy – and that’s a good thing for broadcasters.